Earlier this month, Astana International Exchange (AIX), powered by Nasdaq technology, announced its transition to the cloud. The Nasdaq Matching Engine used by AIX is now deployed in the cloud, enabling AIX to enhance the performance of its trading services.
We sat down with Valerii Tsoi, CIO at AIX, to learn more about their technology journey.
1. Can you tell us about your marketplace that you recently deployed in the cloud?
We launched the Astana International Exchange three years ago in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, to help attract investment to Central Asia, where capital markets have historically been underdeveloped and in need of innovation. We have created a high-tech trading platform from scratch within a Common Law regulatory environment that is familiar to the foreign investment community. The AIX has established an ecosystem of over 20 trading members, including all brokers operating in Kazakhstan, as well as brokers from China, Russia and Europe. We use Nasdaq’s technology for our matching engine, surveillance system and data warehouse. We also have our own CSD with local and international custodians and third-party suppliers for our T+2 post-trade infrastructure.
Recently, we have successfully gone live with Nasdaq Matching Engine in Amazon Web Services (AWS), thereby enabling the exchange to enhance the availability of the trading services and help deliver world-class ease of use, agility and scalability for our clients. The technology upgrade provides AIX with standardized and unified operations, messaging and data infrastructure, which gives AIX flexibility to launch new products and services faster and more cost-efficiently for its securities market.
2. What were the key drivers behind your decision to launch your marketplace in the cloud? What are the main benefits?
Our main goals are to improve the performance, availability and sustainability of our services, while reducing costs. Cloud solutions help reduce costs and migration time, as well as prioritise security and compliance, all of which dramatically improve our business operations.
3. You are at the forefront of the capital markets by launching a marketplace in the cloud. Can you share some lessons learned from the process?
Cloud-based infrastructure has always been a part of our business strategy, from the very early days of the exchange, purely due to the benefits it offers.
Firstly, it provides the sustainability we need and accessibility anywhere in the world. It also allows users to reserve host sites at several locations, so it’s designed to resist a far greater number of technical issues.
Secondly, thanks to cloud technology, we are able to reduce process-management time significantly. For example, we no longer have to go through lengthy procurement processes and wait for tender results. After all, new technological solutions are only successful if they are introduced in time. If you need a new server, want to increase server capacity or shut down a server, you can do so in just two clicks.
Thirdly, the cloud-based service costs are very reasonable. With traditional data centres, we often overpay, continuously buy larger servers or provide additional capacity for the future, even though we may never use it. Using cloud-based infrastructure, we only pay for what we need at that particular moment.
4. How do you foresee your move to the cloud affecting and evolving the capital markets in your region?
The AIX is the first and so far only company in Central Asia that is 100% hosted by AWS cloud-based technology. We can already see others looking to launch projects through cloud-based solutions, and we are happy to share our experience and the results we have achieved so far.
The migration to cloud-based solutions is a global trend, not only for the financial industry and fintech companies. It is part of the future for all businesses using IT in one way or another. I think that very soon in Central Asia, companies with cloud-based infrastructure will be just as common as companies with traditional IT solutions.